31 March 2013

thirteen / fifty-two

- a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2012 -

We visited Rob's grandparents this long Easter weekend in Devon. We've been enjoying trips to the seaside, ice-cream, a trip to a shopping/lesuire park complete with Europe's largest miniature railway, a miniature steam train, animals and quite a lot more, shopping in charity shops. Theo has been utterly in his element playing with Granny and Grampa! 

I've recently been enjoying Kate's 52 portraits, so beautiful! It's a new to me blog, and I'm loving getting to know her sweet family! 

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28 March 2013

bits and pieces


seafront houses // the promenade // an old theatre // walking with granny and grampa after watching the trains // the town centre // waiting for trains // no socks on the beach // the friendliest dog in the world // no ships on the horizon today // the train is coming! // driving grampa's car

27 March 2013

cambridge


Last week we took a little journey back east to my hometown. We were staying the weekend for my dad's 60th birthday party. He planned a garden party with a marquee, and it was forecast to snow all weekend, and snow it did. But all turned out well in the end and a good party was had.

We drove over on thursday night as I always prefer driving in the evening and then at least it's done and we can wake up the next day already there. My sister was flying in from Barcelona for the weekend too, and I was excited to see her. My other sister joined us on Saturday and according to my dad it was the first time he had seen us all together in one room since about 2009 or something! (We were all together last summer at my Mum's wedding, but it is a rare occurrence these days).

She arrived late Thursday night so when we awoke in the morning we were both there. After a lazy morning catching up we drove to Cambridge. Even though I've been back to my hometown of Saffron Walden a few times recently I haven't had the chance to visit Cambridge in those visits, and I miss it dearly. It's always such a treat just to walk around and admire all the grand buildings, little side streets and sweet cafes and shops.

We arrived and parked where we always used to park when we were small, and walked through the common along the river like we used to when we were small. The wind was so bitterly cold though that we didn't stop for long or play at the park, that yep you guessed it, where we used to play when we were small.






We stopped for coffee and hot chocolate at the sweetest cafe to warm up and sat watching the people go by infront of the colleges. Theo napped whilst we peeped in shops and looked round the market.







Theo continued to sleep all the way through lunch but managed to wake up when we popped in to meet Ivana for the first time at the lovely cafe she works in. We ate her homemade lime and coconut cake (which was delicious!). I wish we could have stayed for longer so we could have hung out properly, and chatted over some drinks, but it was lovely to see her in her natural environment (like on safari) and taste some of her wares that I've drooled over from my computer screen!




Even though Theo slept through a lot of it, it always makes me so happy to see him treading on the same pavements I did when I was little, to look at wonder at the buildings and to run through the same park where I had my front two teeth knocked out when I was a little older than he is now. Because we live in Bristol where Rob grew up I feel that Theo is constantly shown pieces of Rob's childhood, whereas I have to savour the moments that we are back on my turf and end up telling everyone pieces of information over and over again because I have forgotten what they already know as it's so long between each visit. But I hope as Theo grows up he will come to learn and love some of the places I used to visit as a child to, and perhaps we too can have some shared memories of them.

p.s my sister also spent the weekend redesigning my blog header, what do you think?! There's a little more work to be done on the whole blog as I feel it's time for a change, but I like this start! 

25 March 2013

theo's daily outfit

This week we finally went on an adventure. We travelled back east to go see my dad and celebrate his 60th birthday. We had fun, but I got sick, boohoo. This week we've mainly been staying indoors once again because as you all well know it's been bloody freeeeezing. I'm hoping to get better soon and that we say goodbye to winter as soon as possible!


24 March 2013

twelve / fifty-two


- a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013 -

One with Mummy one with daddy. This week Theo learnt to say I love you and my heart melted all over again...

So happy to see that Zalia is finally here! Congratulations Jess!


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21 March 2013

liebster baby!

hooray! I was lucky enough to be given this award twice by Lia and Cori! If you haven't heard of it before (like me!) then its a lovely little award to help spread some love around the blogging world by sharing some deep personal secrets about yourself and to then make your favourite bloggers do the same!

So I'm going to try and answer both sets of questions (maybe not in one post!), then pass the deed onto 11 of my favourite bloggers with my own 11 questions who do it all over again...see sowing my wild seed in a big love orgy...

Firstly Lia's questions

1. Who has influenced you the most throughout your life?

I think I would have to say my sisters. We all share pretty common interests and tastes, and they are the first people I would go to for advice or inspiration. They were the first I told about being pregnant before my parents..They've just always been such a constant support and influence throughout my life and even though we bicker I really wouldn't do without them! 

2. What was the first blog you became addicted to? 

I dabbled in reading blogs before I was pregnant, but when I started my own and really got into the blogging world I imagine it was probably Bleubird Vintage. Probably a first for many people, but I just never knew that the whole blogging world existed like this.

3. Favourite day of the week? 

I think probably a Saturday? I'm not sure why I've always just loved the busyness but relaxed feel of the day. A day to get things done, go on an adventure, spend time with friends etc

4. Hot or cold holidays? 

Probably somewhere in the middle? I'd be happy to live in perpetual Spring if I could. I'm a Scandinavian summer type of person I'd say...


5. Book you're currently reading? 

Currently reading 1Q84 for Haruki Murakami. It's taking some time to get into, but it's a mammoth book and I need to dedicate some more time to it because I love all of his other work. 

6. Beauty product you can not live without? 


hmm not sure about this one, perhaps it's foundation. I was never a foundation wearer before, but soon discovered it's delights when used to cover up my mum-bags and horrible uneven skin tones!

7. What's for dinner? 

we had vegetarian spaghetti bolognese using up a whole load of veg before we go away for the weekend..not very exciting

8. Favourite place on the planet? 


yikes such a hard question. I have been lucky enough to go to some pretty amazing places, I day dream often about Nepal and India, or Norway and Sweden and would love to go back to each...but I don't know, my favourite place might just have to be home? 

9. Here's £100 for just YOU. What do you do with it? 


I'm going to hold you to this Lia! That will go towards our honey moon thank you very much! 

10. Favourite toy or book as a child? 


I had a few favourite toys, mainly my two monkeys angus and chi-chi cherry nose. I apparently took quite a liking to chi-chi (or just monkey as he was more commonly known) when I was a baby and stole him off my sister. He's still with me to this day, with Angus hanging out and making new friends on Theo's bed. I also had a doll who's name was Jesus, and when people told me Jesus was a man I shot them down saying "don't be silly, she's a girl, men don't wear dresses"...there you have it. 

11. What's your party trick? 


I don't think I really have a party trick, but on my 18th birthday my dad let me throw a house party, where we all got hideously drunk and I tap danced in the kitchen for everyone before obviously falling on my face...good times. 

So the bloggers my awards go to are:

albert and the lion
my heart is your home
oh you pretty things! 
ruby hoppen
those who love
free our kids
maggie stone vintage
something i made
miss igs 
little sleep
the stork and the beanstalk

so my 11 questions are as follows:

1. What family traditions do you/ want to carry on with your own family?
2. Favourite colour?
3. Describe your perfect weekend
4. The beach, a forest, mountains or meadow?
5. What's the best live music show you've ever been to?
6. What's your best chat up line, or best one used on you?
7. What's your guilty pleasure?
8. If you could go anywhere in the world, for an unlimited amount of time where would you go and how long would you go for?
9. What's the meanest thing your sibling ever did to you when you were a child?
10. What's the one trait you would encourage most in your child/ren?
11. Favourite drink?


19 March 2013

the alphabet

I mentioned before that Theo has suddenly had a sort of lightbulb moment and the alphabet has started making sense to him, or at least letters have. He doesn't know the letters in order, but he knows pretty much all of them now without too much confusion! I'm not claiming him to be a genius, just probably learning things at the normal rate, but it still impresses me that he can recognise them all and tell me what they are and how they sound.

I can't remember when we started really trying to teach him to letters (to be honest before I had Theo I just assumed they learnt the alphabet and numbers at school...how wrong I was!) so I thought I would share a few of the things we have found fun and useful.

First off books. We've got a few nice books to do with the alphabet but these two are probably my favourite!



The first is Alphabet by Alain Gree which was a lovely birthday present from his god father. I just love the illustrations so much and some pages have little alliteration rhymes and others just lots of picutres. Theo's favourite at the moment is 'e' because it has an excellent picture of a train engine. What's even better about this book is that the paper cover doubles up as an Alphabet poster!


The second book probably doesn't need much introduction, as I'm sure everyone knows a little Dr. Seuss. But we love this alphabet book too! The book reads more like a story, with a page per letter some describing them as big and little letters, with tongue twisters and lots and lots of alliterations in true Suess style! There are weird and wonderful creatures along the way and I'd say this book is great for teaching the order of the alphabet.


Next we have a letter puzzle, and since Theo is puzzle mad we complete this at least twice a day! My mum bought it for Theo for Christmas from John Lewis I believe? We really love it! The letters are big and chunky and he has to figure which way up and round they go in the right holes, we then look at the pictures, or I'll ask him what letter the snake is etc, it's pretty fun!

We also have letters in the bath, which we play little games with...


We have a little wash mit monster with a mouth, so we made up a game where the monster likes to eat letters. So it asks Theo for a letter and if he picks the right one then the monster will eat it right up, but if its the wrong one he will spit it out and say yuk not that one...the other one! It's safe to say Theo likes this game quite a lot!

Finally of course there are alphabet apps. There are a few we've used but none come close to the genius that is Endless Alphabet.



First you can select the word from the gallery by scrolling through, with new words added daily. The word appears but then the letters are jumbled up by a stampede of monsters. You then drag each letter do its right place, and when doing so the letter with make the phonic sounds, when dropped into the correct place it will tell you what letter is. When the word is complete there is then a little animation that describes what the word means. For an app that is free we think it's amazing! I can see it helping Theo learn his letters, phonics, how to spell and the meanings of words.

Anyway those are our favourite alphabet related toys and books! Hope you enjoy them too! 

18 March 2013

theo's daily outfit

what a mixed bag we've had weather wise for the past week or so! We've seen snow, rain, hail and the occasional lovely day of fresh sunshine. We've been to the park, swimming, in the garden, playgroup and to the mshed museum. It's been a pretty fun week, and we're slowly starting to feel a bit better!

A couple of weeks ago I received a lovely email from the people at Joules asking if I would like to review some of their items of clothing. I jumped at the chance as I've always admired the brand and their classic English styling. The clothes are usually a little out of our price range, but they are certainly worth it as they are cut really well and of a high quality. I had a look through their collection a picked out a few items for Theo from their boy's clothes collection. I love the fun designs and can't wait to incorporate them into Theo's spring wardrobe! He's wearing the rhino with an upset stomach t-shirt above (which has a poo on the back) and we thought it was pretty funny! I've got my eye on a pair of wellies for when Theo grows out of his current ones too.

so hurry up Spring!

I received items of clothing to review but no payment was made for this post and all words and opinions are my own. 

17 March 2013

eleven / fifty-two

- a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013 - 

On a rainy afternoon we took a trip to the Mshed museum and had the place virtually to ourselves! Once again playing on the old bus was our favourite.

Last week I loved Ashley's portrait of her husband and son van! Such a beautiful little family!

Joining in with Jodi!

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14 March 2013

a theo update

This little boy is growing up so quick! It's hard to remember all the things he does on a day to day basis, but here are a few things that make me smile and wish I could go and wake him up and cuddle him once he's gone to bed (but really, I'm bloody glad that he has gone to bed)

It seems as though suddenly a switch has gone in his head and all the months of hard work teaching him colours, the alphabet, numbers and shapes has really paid off! He loves colours and letters the most. When we are walking or riding the bus he will notice and point out his favourite letters and gets oh so very excited by this. Imagine how good it must be to get excited by just spotting letters? He knows pretty much all of them now, and has great fun completing his alphabet puzzle that he got for Christmas from yaya. If he's having a bit of a whinge I can often distract him by asking him what colours things are, or what shape. He's getting there with numbers, he can say them all and recognise most, but hasn't quite got the hang of putting them in order! But this has all happened in a matter of a week or two, fascinating!

He is getting a lot better at playing independently, a few times recently he's been happy to play in his room alone for 15-20 minutes, or just potter around. A lot of the time I don't need to actually play with him, just be in the same room or near to him. He loves doing puzzles at the moment, and will bring one or call me over and pat the floor next to him saying "come on mummy". Other games we are currently enjoying are tunnels (making a tunnel out of everything possible, his favourite being under the covers), hiding from daddy and being found, building towers and knocking them down, playing pairs with picture cards and of course trains. He's started to act out a few stories and situations with his trains, and I often hear him making his trains hang off the egde of things and saying "help help"... wonder where he got that one from!

When we're out he likes to walk along side his pushchair holding onto the side, or to be carried. He's recently decided that he needs a new mummy and will attach himself to one of my friends, much to the disgust of her own child. He knows I'm his mummy, but likes to have a cuddle with other mummy's too. I'm not going to lie, some times it makes me feel a little dejected! But then when we are home I can't prise him off my leg so I guess it all balances out...

But he's getting good at making friends, and will always say hello and goodbye. A good way to bribe him out of the house is by telling him we're going to see a certain person, and he calls them his friend and does the friend sign (thanks Mr. Tumble). It is very very sweet! If he does hit or push a child he's becoming a lot better at understanding he's been naughty and saying sorry. He will always try and give them a cuddle, whether they want one or not. I have been struggling a lot with the whole discipline thing, but that's another story. But mostly I figure it's just a phase a lot of them go through, and especially boys.

His language is getting pretty good too. He can tell me most of the time what he wants, and describes and names things all the time. When he really wants something he'll whingerly (yeh I made that word up) repeat over and over what it is, until you can name the thing he wants, then he'll stop dead and say "alright"! At the moment it's too endearing not to give into what he wants...but most of the time it's just for food or a drink!

I'm sure theres a million other things he does that I should record, but that's all my tired brain can conjure up at the moment!

12 March 2013

a day for mothers


It was Mother's day on Sunday, my third if you can believe it. I'd have to say that this was probably the 2nd best. The first, well let's just say that I haven't quite forgiven Rob for this one yet, but he sort of made up for it last year with a lovely Sunday lunch with both our mothers and a bag of Lush treats.

But this year I was woken up about 6 by a little boy crying and with a temperature. I brought him back into bed with me and he slept a while longer. He perked up a little after some calpol so we packed to go  visit my Mum as Rob had to work. Thankfully he slept in the car, but after we arrived and he woke up he was really feeling sorry for himself. All he wanted to do was nestle into my chest and be cuddled and carried, and this from Theo is certainly out of character  Not to say that he doesn't give me cuddles, I do get a few, but they usually last for a few seconds before he sees something else he wants to fiddle with/climb on/push around/destroy. He is also usually so excited to see his Yaya and Grandpa and he usually leaps out of my arms as soon as we get to the front door so he definitely wasn't feeling right. He then proceeded to throw up all over the both of us, so we got in the bath and suddenly he was all ok again...a skill he will more than likely use again when he's older! We got changed into clean warm clothes, and cuddles by the fire.




So we decided to brave the arctic conditions and visit Hanbury Hall, a National Trust property to get some fresh air. I was excited to be able to use my membership for the first time!









we walked around the grounds and gardens just as some snowflakes began to fall before the bitter wind got the better of us and we retreated to the tea rooms! Probably the best thing about National Trust places are the tea rooms!

We then had a look around the house, with Theo entertained by hunting out the beehives in each room...






We had fun playing the victorian playroom, with toys like the ones my sister made him for Christmas and his birthday!

We then headed to Worcester for some food before returning home and putting the little boy to bed early. Luckily he seemed a little better for the rest of the day, but still not his happy chirpy self.

It was a mother's day to definitely test my mothering caring skills to say the least!

And remember when I was wishing he would hurry up and say "mummy" already...well he now says it at least 100,0000,0000 times a day..over and over....
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